She: The Old Woman Who Took Over My Life
5 x 7
Published in November 2011
This slender book, the last of 29 written by Kathryn Tucker Windham over her long and productive life, will be an exquisitely bittersweet read for the many fans of the late storyteller and author from Selma, Alabama. Windham died in June 2011 at the age of 93, but only over the last 18 months of her life did she seem much constrained by her advancing years. Typically, she faced old age and its accompanying limitations with humor and curiosity. In She, the book Windham was putting the finishing touches on when she died, the author describes how she woke up one day to find that she had an unwanted houseguest, an old woman who had suddenly moved in and was taking over her life. Referring to this interloper simply as SHE, Windham invites readers into a lively colloquy between the author, whose spirit has not changed, and her alter ego, who moves haltingly toward her earthly end. She will leave you laughing and crying but also grateful and hopeful.
“Kathryn Windham is a perfectly working ‘Time Machine.’ All you have to do is get inside one of her magical stories and you can ride back through the lost decades of memory to those things so wonderfully ordinary that they define us all. Whether it be a visit with a member of her own family or a ‘ghost story’ of the strange and inexplicable, we are caught in the clear reality of her memory and land in past times and places where we still meet ourselves today. A genius of quiet reflection.” —Donald Davis, storyteller and author of Tales from a Free-Range Childhood
“She is kind of the embodiment of the region. And not just the days gone by—she says something we can all relate to today.” —Roger Duvall, Alabama Public Radio